The ecoartspace blog will feature artist profiles and reviews of exhibitions, as well as writings on ecological systems. We are interested in presenting work that artists are making in collaboration with scientists, and poetics including spoken word, opera, and performative work. Painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, drawing, and printmaking are all welcome media. Speculative architecture and public art are also encourage. Submissions for posts can be sent to info@ecoartspace.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

You can access the previous ecoartspace blog HERE (2008-2019)

ecoartspace, LLC

Mailing address: PO Box 5211 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
  • Wednesday, June 01, 2022 4:17 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    The ecoartspace June 2022 e-Newsletter is here




  • Wednesday, June 01, 2022 10:56 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    (Bleached, 2022. Crochet, assemblage. Acrylic, wool, bamboo yarns; plastic medical waste (needle caps, needle sheaths, vial caps, tubing caps, oxygen tubing, nasal prong tubing), polystyrene, pins. 36” x 40” x 6”)

    Member Interview
    By Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein

    Ruth Tabancay is redefining the meaning of renaissance artistry as both a scientist and a textile artist dedicated to environmental awareness work. Using objects that largely exist in excess in her life (used tea bags, plastic medical waste, Styrofoam) she seamlessly blends traditions in textiles while heightening topics in microbiology. From plastic eating micro-organisms to tender memories and ocean impacts, Ruth’s work is multi-facetted and intriguing. The works Bleached, Adapting to New Substrates 2.1, and Adapting to New Substrates 3.0 will be part of the group exhibition A World Free of Plastic Imagined at Ruth's Table, 3160 21st Street, San Francisco, June 9-August 26, 2022. Reception Thursday, June 9, 6-8 pm. www.ruthstable.org


    What’s In You and On You Normal Flora and Pathogens 1.2, 2019, Hand embroidery, fabric, embroidery floss, glass Petri dishes, 1 x 28 x 20 inches

    Ruth, you create this amazing combination of textile traditions with contemporary issues, materials and sciences. What led you to work in textiles and how have your material and technique decisions informed your work?

    As a teenager, I taught myself a variety of textile techniques—machine sewing, embroidery, crochet, knitting, needlepoint— and when I attended California College of the Arts I added weaving, felting, printing, basketry, and others to my collection of methods. I’m comfortable working with fiber materials as I’ve worked with them most of my life. I’m drawn to the tactility of unworked linear fiber materials such as yarn and wire and to objects such as tea bags, needle caps, or plastic bags that carry an intrinsic message. Thinking of their provenance or their future gives me a place to start an idea. When I latch onto a concept, I try to think of a way to impart the idea with materials rather than an exact representation of it. I draw on my inventory of techniques to see what most conveys that meaning.


    Adapting to New Substrates 2.1, 2021, Hand embroidery on various plastics, 32 x 42 x 2 inches

    And that inventory is vast! In your embroidery work, you integrate your interest in microbiology to display various bacteria that are usually unseen. In “New Substrates” you are displaying bacterial strains on plastics. How are you using your knowledge of microbiology to infer this evolution toward plastic dissolution? How much is science and how much is fantasy?

    I majored in bacteriology in college and worked in hospital laboratories before going to medical school, so I’ve spent years looking at micro-organisms and learning their diseases. These microscopic forms and arrangements are embedded in my subconscious. In 2015, I started embroidering stitches that resembled micro-organisms as seen through a microscope onto fabric. In my embroidered series set in Petri dishes, What’s In You and On You: Normal Flora and Pathogens, I refer to the colors of stains, agar media, diagnostic tests and light fields that are actually used in the lab to inform my embroidery floss and fabric colors.  I first began embroidering on polystyrene meat trays (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) in 2017 after reading that the gut bacteria of waxworms could digest polystyrene. More research along these lines is taking place in laboratories around the world. Since micro-organisms need substrate to grow on, such as different types of agar media in the lab, I extrapolated that polystyrene, or any kind of plastic could be possible. Though practical use of this research seemed far away, in April 2022 it was reported in Nature that researchers have found an enzyme variant that can break down plastic in hours to days rather than years. This finding gets us closer to actual usage. For my Adapting to New Substrates series, since the premise of organisms digesting plastic on the global scale is not yet a feasible reality, I embroider actual fungal structures such as branching septate hyphae or mycelia as well as larvae, bacteria, fungal spores and colonies. In my fantasy, the organisms could take on the color of the plastic they are living on or a completely new one.


    Devour III, 2017, Hand embroidery, foam meat tray, embroidery floss, 5 3/4 x 8 1/4 x 1 inches

    I am glad you mentioned the Styrofoam since your work extends beyond traditional fiber materials and into sugars, tea bags and plastics. Yet, when you use these materials, you hold true to practices in quilting or molecular structures. How do you balance tradition, reality, fantasy and avant-garde?

    I can trace many of my works back to traditional craft—hand embroidery, hand quilting, crochet, the geometry of traditional patterns, fabric manipulation—but I apply modern concepts and personal experience to my work to add intent. Even my work with the scanning electron microscope and computerized Jacquard loom refers to traditional weave structures, both in the fabrics I scan and how I weave them. Concept is foremost and executing it in a fiber technique is my challenge to creating my artwork. Tradition, reality, and fantasy blend seamlessly together. The work with which I’m most satisfied contains very personal references. My tea bag bed quilt speaks of the times spent with my daughter snuggled in comforters, drinking tea, and doing her geometry homework. The accumulation of tea bags on the windowsill lead to Extending the Useful Life. My piece, Bleached, about the bleaching of the coral reefs, is composed of hyperbolic crochet, a structure seen in corals, sea slugs, lettuces, and cacti, and plastic medical waste. I was diagnosed with a progressive lung disease 10 years ago and 3 years ago, my lung function deteriorated to the point that I needed, and was fortunate to receive, a lung transplant. I have been collecting plastic medical waste for years knowing it would end up in my artwork. I created fantasy coral reef organisms out of vial caps, needle caps, needle sheaths, oxygen tubing, and tubing caps. This work creates personal conflict because I know one of the main causes of coral bleaching is the rise in ocean temperature. The burning of fossil fuels and, in my case, the manufacture of plastic medical waste contribute to this. But I have depended on medications delivered via these plastic objects to keep me alive. It distresses me to know that my personal needs add to this problem. 


    Extending the Useful Life, 2010. Hand stitched, tea bags, embroidery floss, muslin, batting, 26 x 33 x 65 inches

    Thank you so much for a wonderful interview, Ruth!


  • Tuesday, May 31, 2022 9:29 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    May 30, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist    Dominique Mazeaud.

    "The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande (above) was a seven-year performance I began in 1987, my heart calling to speak and act through the intention/attention-filled gestures of ritual. Once a month, I walked the river’s bed and banks doing a literal and symbolic cleansing. The deep-listening portion being as important as the collection of found objects. A journal, “riveries,” chronicled my song as an Earth heartist."

    "Thirty years ago a funny little word flew in on the wings of a western wind and burst forth from the river water I scooped up in my hands: the name heartist."

    "For many years, I used Marina Abramovic’s quote as a preamble to my biography: “Art, it’s not about doing, it’s about being.” Years later, I met Ulay, Marina's former partner, in Japan while working on re-enlivening a deserted island. Correcting his ex, he said, “Art, it’s not about doing, it’s about becoming.” Doing art is partly becoming one’s definition of art. For me, it comes to the word heartist. I have written about heartist, but today I prefer to let it speak for itself."

    "The children, our children, are very much aware of what is happening to the world. In this outdoor installation (above) in 2014 at the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve in Santa Fe, marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of The Wilderness Act, they decide not to wait for us and go on a Pilgrimage to the Wild."

    The heartist's Secret (above): "Dominique takes us on a journey through her life and practice that offers many rewards to those whose hearts have been broken open by the uncertainty of this time and other previous traumas. She translates wisdom that come from different culture perspectives with deep respect and filters her process through the lenses of dream work and intuition." Beverly Naidus

    "As I began recovering from a major hiking accident in 2010, I was called to do art that would encompass my present circumstance and continue to be inspired by Nature’s prompts. One Thousand Arms of Compassion (below) is an installation bringing to light the visible relationship between letterforms and Nature. It consists of a thousand forked branches looking like Ys, installed in concentric circles in the tradition of the mandala."

    Dominique Mazeaud                 is an artist whose ritual performances and installations are considered prayers. Her passion is the Earth, and her identity belongs to Spirit. The word heartist reflects the gift of listening to Nature. The term results from Mazeaud's quest for "the spiritual in art in our time," which she has sought to answer since 1979. Heartist is a word unifying life and art and suggests a way of being in these transformation times. Dominique Mazeaud was born in France and has lived in the United States since 1967. In 1987 she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she resides today. Mazeaud organized the traveling exhibition Revered Earth for the Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, 1990.    earthheartist.net

    Featured Images, top to bottom: ©Dominique Mazeaud, The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande, 1987-1994; 173 Heart Rocks Plus One Broken Heart, 1995, installation at CCA, Santa Fe; Pilgrimage to the Wild, 2014, installation for Wilderness Acts outdoor exhibition, Axle Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico; The heartist's Secret, 2021, a memoirby Dominique Mazeaud; One Thousand Arms of Compassion, 2010,Y-shaped twigs, 9 x 9 feet. Photograph from Alan Eckert.


  • Monday, May 23, 2022 8:21 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)
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    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    May 23, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artists   Reiko Goto and Tim Collins.

    Goto and Collins embrace an ecosystems methodology, collaborating with a range of disciplines, communities and other living things. They are interested in the ways that art and imagination contribute to practical wisdom and democratic discourse about ethics and human values. The work primarily focuses upon natural public places and everyday experience of environmental commons. An ethical-aesthetic impulse permeates the artwork.

    nullDeep Mapping at Lough Boora Sculpture Park was commissioned by Offaly County Council and Bord na Móna and funded by Offaly County Council, The Arts Council and Creative Ireland. The book was published in Ireland, 2020, and documents a ‘deep mapping’ of the Park and the contexts which continue to shape its meaning. The text contributes to the goal of agreeing an exceptional and sustainable artistic vision to inform the future development of a Land and Environmental Arts facility. It also intends to provide an initial historic, cultural and ecological contribution for artists and scientists trying to orient themselves at Lough Boora in the future.

    Goto and Collins worked with a team of scientists, technologists, and musicians to reveal the breath of a tree. Their intention was to explore the empathic interrelationship we may have with trees. PLEIN AIR above integrates aesthetics, ethics, and awareness in the pursuit of a better understanding of the limitations of people-plant and culture-nature relationships. The artwork provides an experiential interface to an important but generally invisible aspect of carbon sequestration. The experience produced by PLEIN AIR is metaphoric; through the mediation of sensors and software, we hear a sound of one leaf – one tree breathing. Does our sense of moral duty change as we listen? A tree is commonly understood as property, as a utilitarian resource, and as a non-sentient thing. Yet the presence of trees in our daily lives and their bio-chemical agency, their carbon dioxide / oxygen exchange, can be construed as an essential condition of the public realm.

     

    Lanolin, Can you see the forest of Scotland    below is a commentary on the relationship between landscape, trees and sheep in Scotland. The work emerged from a walk in Loch Katrine with the Native Woodlands Discussion Group, where member Ruth Anderson showed Goto the robust bonsai-tree like stem of a native birch tree and its root structure, new growth which developed once sheep were removed (and deer fenced out) of the National Park. The removal of sheep from the Scottish landscape makes an enormous impact on trees and their ability to regenerate and prosper.

    Working with unwashed fleece the artist carefully carded the wool and established the background for the lighter, washed wool of the Saint Andrew’s Cross, the Saltire. The land is the context for culture, and the trees are the language of landscape that emerges once the pressure of sheep is lifted. Lanolin is another cultural decoy, conflating nationalism and past land use with future visions of an expanded forest in Scotland.

    Collins & Goto Studio: Reiko Goto and Tim Collins have developed long-term, socially engaged environmental research (SEER) that examines the cultural meaning of semi-natural ancient forest: Future Forest (2013-present); Sylva Caledonia (2015); Caledonian Decoy (2017); PLEIN AIR: The Ethical Aesthetic Impulse (2010); CO2 Edinburgh (2013); Sound of a Tree: Cologne (2016); PLEIN AIR Live at Glasgow Botanics (2017); Nine Mile Run (1997-2000); and 3 Rivers 2nd Nature (2000-2005). Outputs include artworks, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, and publications that embrace an arts-led dialogue method of research-and theory-informed public practice. They have worked with other artists, musicians, planners, communities, scientists, and technologists as well as  historians and philosophers to realize work for over twenty years. collinsandgoto.com

    Featured Images top to bottom: ©Collins & Goto Studio,Deep Mapping at Lough Boora Sculpture Park (2020); Deep Mapping book; Plein Air: The Breath of Trees (2019-2020); Plein Air book; Lanolin, Can you see the forest of Scotland? (2013).

    Below: Tim Collins (left) and Reiko Goto (right)



  • Monday, May 23, 2022 7:46 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    Tessa Grundon, Invasive Species, 2018-2021/2022, Asiatic Bittersweet root systems and border fencing, dimensions variable.

    Art Spiel

    Reflections on the work of contemporary artists

    Posted on May 23, 2022 by Art Spiel

    Fragile Rainbow: Traversing Habitats by ecoartspace

    Featured Project: with curator Sue Spaid

    The group show Fragile Rainbow: Traversing Habitats at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn includes paintings, sculptures, videos, and installations addressing environmental issues by more than fifty artists from the New York City region who are members of ecoartspace. The title is based on Claire McConaughy’s oil painting, Fragile Rainbow, referencing both hope and loss. The show runs from May 7th through June 4th, 2022. Curator Sue Spaid elaborates on this large-scale group show.

    What is your curatorial vision for this show and can you walk us briefly through the show?

    As it turns out, organizing a members’ exhibition is a bit more complicated than curating a typical group exhibition. For one, I knew only a handful of the artists, though I had encountered many more during ecoartspace’s regular zoom presentations whereby four to five artists introduce their practice in the framework of trees, fungi, plastic, water, or abstraction (multi-monthly zoom sessions are typically thematic). Moreover, this exhibition came together rather rapidly as the gallery’s availability wasn’t secured until March. Ecoartspace founder Patricia Watts identified over fifty local artists who submitted up to six artworks along with installation instructions. Not only was I responsible for selecting artworks and creating meaningful relationships amidst this unusual space replete with radiators, windows and doors, but I had to track whether there was sufficient space to include artworks by as many members as possible.

    Technicalities aside, once the artworks were selected, the idea to organize them in terms of habitat and interconnectedness seemed obvious. Even more wonderful was the way everything came together during installation, enabling the exhibition itself to exemplify interconnected habitat. Simulating a grove, one wall features paintings replete with trees, branches, flowers, fungi, roots, animals, and seeds, including pendulous cigar tree seeds (Catalpa speciosa). Two-sided drawings dangling from wires that span three columns fortuitously mimic marks and gestures visible in nearby artworks. As a result, notions of entanglement and sinuousness abound. Continuing the tradition of Plains Indian women’s drawing abstract geometric motifs, Indigenous artist Bebonkwe’s Post-Traumatic Entanglement: Opal proffers a sober counterpoint to this exhibition’s surfeit of exuberant renderings like Pamela Casper’s Forest Spectacle and Deborah Wasserman’s Migrating Crop.

    Go to article here


  • Thursday, May 19, 2022 6:43 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    Nancy Evans, Fleurs du mal (Evil Flower), 2018. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 64 x 64 inches. © Nancy Evans. Courtesy the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. 

    ArtSeen, Brooklyn Rail, May 2022

    Nancy Evans: Moonshadow

    By Mary Jones

    The phenomenal supermoons of the past six years deeply impressed Nancy Evans, and in Moonshadow, Evans’s first show with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, they serve as a powerful motif to consider our precarious, transient place in the universe. Of her seven large, radiant paintings, five are dated from 2016, the year that the largest supermoon since 1948 rose in the politically unforgettable month of November 2016. The other two were also completed during years of significant supermoons—the Blood Moon of 2018, and the rare Blue Moon of 2020. The title, Moonshadow, refers to the song by Cat Stevens, which whimsically imagines overcoming loss and embracing the here and now. Similarly, Evans constructs her avidly symbolic landscapes with simple compositions, alluding to American Modernism and evoking transformation and awakening in times of upheaval.  

    Like Agnes Pelton (1881–1961), whose retrospective title aptly labeled her as a “Desert Transcendentalist,” Evans acknowledges being inspired by the landscape of California: her formative years in the fig orchards of its fertile Central Valley, and recently, the desert of Apple Valley. She describes these experiences as encounters with the metaphysical—even hallucinatory—sublime. Also, like Pelton, Evans has studied Hinduism and Jungian symbolism and depicts lumination as a harbinger for a reality beyond the material world, perhaps a messenger for consciousness. One might refer to Evans as a “Desert Existentialist.” There’s little tranquility in these aqueous, dramatic supermoons. Instead of stasis, there’s action, even hints of foreboding. Lars von Trier's film Melancholia (2011) comes to mind, in which a beautiful bright star is soon identified as a rogue planet whose orbit will inevitably destroy Earth. As natural disasters and climate change increasingly become part of our lives, we live with—and deny—the threat of our self-imposed extinction. The moons in Evans’s paintings hover in a restless gestalt, merging natural wonder with a call to consciousness.

    Continue reading here


    On View
    Luis De Jesus
    April 16 – May 28, 2022
    Los Angeles
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2022 8:45 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    Critics picks ARTFORUM, May 16, 2022

    Los Angeles

    Radical Propagations/Propagaciones Radicales

    March 21 - July 30, 2022

    18th Street Arts Center (Airport Campus) 3026 Airport Avenue

    Guerrilla gardening, seed libraries, plant marches, and maintenance art come together in this touching and thoughtful group show on regenerative cultural gestures, curated by Mexican transdisciplinary artist Maru García in the 18th Street Arts Center’s spacious Airport Campus space.

    Light floods the gallery, illuminating Peruvian artist Lucía Monge’s Plantón Móvil (Plant Walks), 2010–, an installation featuring a menagerie of potted plants on skateboards and roller skates and in wheelbarrows, led by another plant with a megaphone—the ringleader of this verdant protest. Behind these conscientious objectors is a video documenting a collection of Monge’s various Plantóns Móvil performances, which have taken place in various cities around the world over the past twelve years: demonstrations with plants being carried by humans—spilling out of arms or poking out of backpacks—to share in a moment of solidarity. Accompanying the work is a selection of gorgeous printed Plantón Móvil materials which, in part, explain why the plant-supporting dissenters walk: “ . . . plants borrow a speed noticeable by people and in return people may borrow some of their slowness . . . we move together to express our living-ness.”

    To the right of this “protest” are a set of three sprouting oak seeds, suspended in bio gel in clear rectangular containers mounted on a wall, their roots clearly visible. This piece is part of Rebecca Youssef’s The Vanishing Canopy, 2022, a body of work inspired by a study from the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, on the reduction of LA’s residential green cover. Due to mass-produced dwellings and home expansion, this cover has shrunk by as much as 55 percent between 2000 and 2009. As a gesture toward correcting this imbalance, Youssef cultivates five to six different oak varieties and plants approximately five thousand acorns each season in and around the Santa Monica Mountains. The Vanishing Canopy, and these pieces in particular, comment on the resilience and adaptability of oak trees, despite their restrictive and anthropocentric surroundings.

    Halo Rossetti

    More about the exhibition here



  • Monday, May 16, 2022 2:23 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    May 16, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist duo Helen Mayer Harrison (1927-2018) and Newton Harrison.

    The Harrisons’ concept of art embraces a breathtaking range of disciplines. Their work involves proposing solutions and involves not only public discussion, but extensive mapping and documentation of these proposals in an art context.

    Greenhouse Britain is an installation that addresses Global Warming from an artist’s perspective. The work proposes an alternative narrative about how people might withdraw as waters rise, what new forms of settlement might look life, and what content or properties a new landscape might have in response to the Global Warming phenomenon. It also demonstrates how a city might be defended.

    The installation is composed of a 13 foot long model of the island of Britain. Six projectors above it project the rivers rising in response to storm surge and coastal waters rising in 2 meter increments, up to 16 meters. One key element in this work responds to the fact that the waters will rise gracefully, posing the questions, “How might one withdraw with equal grace?” and “How might one defend against the ocean’s rise?”

    Performance, Graffiti, Billboards, and Posters. "Meditations on the Sacramento River, the Delta and the Bays at San Francisco" was commissioned by the Floating Museum of San Francisco and exhibited first at the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art as part of a three-museum show that also included street posters, billboards and street graffiti. This was the first critique of the green revolution and intensive irrigated farming in art, linking the loss of bio-diversity to the green revolution and industrialized agriculture. It also advocated an early bio-regional approach to the Central Valley of California. Written about extensively, it was twice on the cover of Art Week.

    The Lagoon Cycle, a 360 foot long and eight foot tall mural, is an extended semi-autobiographical dialogue, with stories and anecdotes, plays between two characters, a "Lagoon Maker" and a "witness", and serves to establish the philosophical basis for the ecological argument in many later works. Beginning in Sri Lanka with an edible crab and ending in the Pacific with the greenhouse effect, it seeks ever-larger frames for a consideration of survival. It looks at experimental science, the marketplace and megatechnology, finally posing the question, "What are the conditions necessary for survival" and concluding that it is necessary to reorient consciousness around a different database.

    The Lagoon Cycle was also recreated as a complex hand-made book. The Lagoon Cycle was designed to envelop. The Book of the Lagoons was designed to be intimate and accessible.

    Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison, among the leading pioneers of the eco-art movement, worked as a collaborative team for almost forty years with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development. Their single exhibitions or large scale installations are numerous. Internationally they have presented their work in two Venice Biennales, Two Sao Paolo Biennales, Documenta 8, the Museums of Modern Art in Chicago, San Francisco, Bonn (Germany), Aachen (Germany), Toulouse (France), Ljublijana (Slovenia), the Museum of the Revolution in Zagreb (Croatia) as well as Kasteel Groeneveld in Holland. Their work took Second Prize at the Nagoya Bienale in 1991 in Japan. They received the Groeneveld Award for Doing the Most Significant work of the year for the Dutch Landscape in Holland in 2002. Their gallery representation has been with Ronald Feldman Fine Arts from 1974 to the present. theharrisonstudio.net

    Featured Images: ©Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison, "The Kimpenerwaard" (2002/2013), "Greenhouse Britain" (2009), "Meditations on the Sacramento River, the Delta and the Bays at San Francisco" (1976-1977), "The Lagoon Cycle" (1974-1978)



  • Thursday, May 12, 2022 1:55 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    Suzi Gablik. Courtesy Deborah Solomon.

    Alex Greenberger by Alex Greenberger, Senior Editor, ARTnews

    May 12, 2022 12:11pm

    Suzi Gablik, an art critic and artist whose polarizing work dealt with the end of modernism and the growth of a newer, more spiritual style, died of a long illness at 87 at her home in Blacksburg, Virginia.

    Deborah Solomon, an art critic for the New York Times and a close friend of Gablik, confirmed Gablik’s death in an email.

    “Suzi had a great talent for admiration, and many artists benefitted from her moral support,” Solomon wrote. “She asked little in return, other than the chance to soak up ideas from the culture and ponder them [to] no end. Her book, Has Modernism Failed, which argued, with remarkable prescience, that art should effect social change and help the environment, was disliked by many of her artist-friends. But she had no regrets and went her own way.”

    Having gained renown early on for her criticism published by ARTnews and Art in America, Gablik went on to write a series of books beginning in the late ’60s that tackled an array of topics. Many of those books were debated widely in the New York art world and, in some cases, even beyond. She continued to publish criticism in Art in America between the 1970s and 1990s.

    During the ’50s and ’60s, she also struck up close friendships with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Ray Johnson, and found herself placed at the core of fast-growing and fast-changing New York art scene. Many of her friendships proved long-lasting.

    She is even credited in some accounts with having introduced Rauschenberg and Johns, who went on to have a romantic relationship, although in a 2016 Archives of American Art oral history, Gablik said she did not recall having done so.

    The first significant book that she published, Pop Art Redefined (1969), was co-written with the critic John Russell, with whom Gablik led a six-year-long romantic relationship. Produced in tandem with an exhibition held at the Hayward Gallery in London, the book is regarded as one of the first surveys of its kind to take up Pop art.

    “It was different to everything else that one had ever seen,” Gablik said in her oral history of Pop art as a movement. “And it was fun—and a little wacky—and it was an intriguing moment in time.”

    Despite the place it now holds in art history, Pop Art Redefined was not universally praised upon its release. In her review for the New York Times, Annette Michelson, a scholar best known for her writings on film, panned Gablik’s contributions to the book, writing that “blurring boundaries” between artistic styles had allowed her to cut corners and introduce figures who were not related, including Johns.

    Born on September 1, 1934, Suzi Gablik was instilled with an interest in art early on by her father, who took her to museums at a young age while she was growing up in New York. As a teenager, she took courses at the storied Black Mountain College in North Carolina, which had become known for its avant-garde offerings that ultimately pushed art in new and stranger directions. At Black Mountain, she took courses with the Abstract Expressionist painter Robert Motherwell.

    “Although I was only there for two months, in that unorthodox environment,” Gablik once recalled, “my maverick self, which was not easily accommodated at home, had the time and provocation to emerge.”

    Later on, she attended Hunter College for art and English. There she studied once more with Motherwell, with whom she remained friendly after graduating.

    After graduating, she had a romantic fling with Harry Torczyner, a married collector who owned some of the deepest holdings of work by René Magritte at the time. When Torczyner contacted Magritte about a potential meeting with Gablik, the Surrealist painter wrote her, and they established a form of correspondence that ultimately enabled her to write the first English-language biography of him. (She even spent nine months living with Magritte in Belgium while researching.) The resulting book, however, was not published until 1970, one year after Pop Art Redefined.

    All the while, Gablik also continued making her own art, which took the form of collages made of imagery that appeared in magazines. Some of the works from the ’70s conjure edenic vistas filled with roaring tigers and aimlessly roaming sheep. She sometimes showed with Terry Dintenfass, a New York dealer who had helped make artists like Arthur Dove and Jacob Lawrence famous.

    Following the Magritte biography and Pop Art Redefined, Gablik took up topics that may have, for some, been considered unfashionable. There was 1977’s Progress and Art, a theory-steeped meditation that attempted to understand why old styles give way to new ones, and there was 1984’s provocative Has Modernism Failed?, a treatise that sought to diagnose where art of the first half of the 20th century had gone.

    The latter book sounded a mournful note about an increasingly commodified art world and expressed concern over a perceived lack of spirituality in art. Many disagreed with its ideas.

    Dealer Eugene V. Thaw tore into Gablik in the Times for her “lack of response to the content, both visual and intellectual, of one of the richest periods in history.” “So what?” asked Fredric Tuten in Artforum.

    Yet Gablik remained true to her ideas, reiterating them in books such as The Reenchantment of Art (1991) and Conversations Before the End of Time (1995).

    Elizabeth C. Baker, who edited Art in America while Gablik was writing for it, said in an email, “She was indefatigable in dissecting the morality and ethics of art in the world at large, a preoccupation that lasted for the rest of her life.”


    New York Times obit May 20, 2022 here

  • Saturday, May 07, 2022 4:29 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    Tide Flowers is a new site-specific water installation that registers the rising and falling tide on the East River at Domino Park.

    At the southern end of Domino Park, River Street, Brooklyn, New York, 2022

    (Just north of the Williamsburg Bridge)

    Tide Flowers was created in conjunction with Fragile Rainbow: Traversing Habitats, presented by ecoartspace and curated by Sue Spaid at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center Second floor, 135 Broadway Williamsburg, New York

    Tide Flowers is a new site-specific water installation that registers the rising and falling tide on the East River at Domino Park. The pink flower petals bloom outward at high tide and draw closed as the tide ebbs.

    The East River rises and falls nearly 5 feet every 5.5 hours, but our city infrastructure often keeps us removed from these daily cycles. The Tide Flowers connect us to the ocean, the moon, and the rhythm that is nature’s own.


    More information HERE



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